Wheeling, W.Va. – The IceMen entered Wednesday night’s game against the Wheeling Nailers with nine inactive players and were shutout for the second time this season. The Nailers were lead by the first star of the game, Forward Cam Fergus, who notched two goals against the IceMen.
Three Wheeling skaters accounted for the team’s four goals. Each of the three players tallied their first goals of the season for the Nailers.
Opening up the scoring for Wheeling was Forward Christiaan Minella, scoring a power play goal prompted by IceMen Center Dale Mahovsky’s slashing penalty. The goal came 9:17 into the first period and was assisted by Wheeling Forward Paul Crowder and Defenseman Cody Wild. Crowder finished the game with two assists and is now tied with Wild for the season-assist lead on the Nailers with eight.
Scoring Wheeling’s second goal of the game was Forward Peter Lenes 8:50 into the second stanza. Lenes’ first goal of the season was the only even strength goal scored by Wheeling against Evansville and the lone assist was credited to Wheeling Defenseman Peter Merth. Lenes received the game’s second star honors, finishing with two points (1G, 1A) and a +2 rating.
Putting the IceMen in a hole was Wheeling’s Fergus, acquiring his season’s first goal while the Nailers were shorthanded. The shorthanded triumph was Wheeling’s first of their 2012-13 campaign and the third goal given up by Evansville while on the power play. Earning the assist on Fergus’ first of two goals on the night was Crowder.
A flurry of infractions forced three of Evansville’s five active defensemen into the penalty box late in the game. Evansville Defensemen Jared Lavender and Sean Whitney, both making their IceMen debuts, were called for back-to-back penalties. Lavender’s penalty was for high-sticking 15:40 into the third period and Whitney’s for a controversial delay of game call just :04 seconds later. Disputing the delay of game verdict was IceMen Defenseman and acting captain Matt Gens. He was tagged for unsportsmanlike.
The Nailers took advantage of a two-man advantage that they enjoyed for 1:56 of game clock. Fergus found the back of the net for the second time of the game and season 17:21 into the final frame. Wheeling Defenseman Carl Sneep was credited with the second assist on the goal while Lenes earned the goal’s first assist.
The IceMen power play was unable to produce on limited opportunities against Wheeling, going 0-for-3 on the night. Evansville was not presented a man advantage until early in the third period.
Evansville’s penalty kill stalled four of Wheeling’s six chances, earning a .667 killing percentage. After halting 26 straight penalties, the IceMen have allowed five power play goals on nine opposing opportunities between their Sunday counterpart Reading Royals and Wheeling on Wednesday.
The winning goalie and third star of the game was Wheeling’s Scott Darling who earned the shutout against Evansville’s 18 shot output.
Taking the loss following a shutout of his own against the Ft. Wayne Komets on Saturday was IceMen Goaltender Paul Karpowich. Saving 29 of Wheeling’s 33 shots, Karpowich finished the game with a .878 save percentage.
The IceMen were outshot by the Nailers 14-4 in the first period and are now winless in eight tries when trailing after the opening period.
Evansville falls to 17(5-11-1) and remain idle in terms of points with 11 on the season. The season series with Wheeling is now tied at one game apiece with each team defending their home ice.
The IceMen will continue their five-game road trip on Friday, Nov. 23 as they are hosted by the Trenton Titans. In their last meeting with Trenton, the Titans took two points from the IceMen at the Ford Center on Oct. 19 after defeating Evansville, 4-3. Friday night’s game starts at 6:05 p.m. CST and can be heard on ‘Magic 98.5′ FM and 1400 AM WEOA.